Apr 11, 2013 8:00pm EDT
the united states senate and the congress unanimously passed a measure to bolster mental health reporting requirements on background checks. some states like mine, texas, have received high marks for their compliance but many states have essentially been noncompliant and the department of justice has failed to adequately back up implementation of the law so essentially the law that we passed in the wake of the virginia tech shootings that require reporting of people that are judah kate at mentally ill in their respective states is not working the way it should. rather than just string along and ineffective program i think this is a wonderful opportunity for us to fix fix it and we shod fix fix it. i want to say just a word though about symbolism versus solutions. i am not interested in congress voting on a measure that would have no impact on the horrific violence we have seen in recent months. i am not interested in a symbolic gesture which would offer the families of the sandy hook shooting the old real solutions that they seek. to a person they told me they are not political, they don'
Apr 16, 2013 8:00pm EDT
not in committing themselves to at least engage in this debate on the floor of the united states senate. what about background checks on the second amendment? the gun lobby argues background checks are unconstitutional, given that justice scalia made it clear in the heller decision on the second and they said basically the second amendment is a personal right to bear arms, not the right of a militia, which it then argued for years. scalia said in that decision laws imposing qualifications on the sale of arms are presumptively lawful. there's no doubt at least in scalia's mind that a background check is consistent with the second amendment. the gun lobby also argues background checks are in effect is. you've heard this argument, how do you? all the law-abiding citizens who live by them, but the criminals won't. nearly 2 million prohibited purchasers have been blocked from buying a gun since background checks went into effect. there is so careless they try to buy a gun anyway. the argument that is why are there so many gun crimes committed? well, because they get done through other means, which is an
Apr 10, 2013 8:00pm EDT
and the united states senate for a reason. we decided to run for this high office because of issues we deeply care about whether it be more affordable health care or better housing or lower taxes and in a job like this you are driven to find the issues that move you. and then sometimes there are issues that find you. when i was elected to the united states senate last november i never imagined that my main speech would be about guns or about gun violence. just like i could have never imagined that i would be standing here in the wake of 20 little kids having died at sandy hook or six adults who protected them. but sometimes issues find you and so here i am. i'm so pleased to have the majority leader and the majority whip and so many of my colleagues on the floor with me here today. i want to start though with the unpleasant part. i think it's important for all of my colleagues to understand why we are having this debate this weekend next week about gun violence and why in the first time in decades we were able to break the logjam. it's easy to avert your eyes and what happened in newtown. it'